Voice of an Angel

By Michelle Tan . UrbanWire Reporter . Sept 03
email reporter . email story . printer friendly version

Image taken from www.hayleywestenra.com

Touted as classical pop's Charlotte Church, in waiting, newcomer Hayley Westenra is but 16 years old and already wowing the world with her new album, Pure, her first to be released internationally.

This New Zealander already has 2 albums under her skinny belt but, sad to say, only her countrymen got to enjoy them. Her self-titled debut, apparently secured triple platinum sales in 2000, making her the fastest-selling local artiste in New Zealand.

Hayley's such a success that even ex-Posh Spice Victoria Beckham invited her to sing at one of the pop star's extravagant parties. There can be only one reason to explain this - her pure voice. Looking at her, it's hard to imagine that such powerful and haunting vocals could come from so young a girl. There is also an indefinable rawness in her voice that manages to convey a thousand emotions.

Her vocal range is impressive, allowing her to deftly switch from alto to high soprano, and reaching those high notes with extreme ease. Her vocal prowess and musical flair comes as no surprise as she has been singing since the tender age of 6, to top that off she's also already mastered the piano, violin and ballet. Singing and touring with Russell Watson, a popular classical singer from the UK, merely adds tantalising cream to Hayley's already sweet successes.

Pure does not just touch on the classical but Hayley also flexes her language prowess with a couple of classical songs sung in French. If you were left wondering what the strange, foreign sounds at the beginning of certain tracks were, these are samples of traditional Maori singing originating from New Zealand.

Her single, "Who Painted The Moon Black?" has garnered lots of airplay in local radio stations, like Class 95FM. However, Hayley has more to offer and there are many more hidden gems, like "Never Say Goodbye" and "Across The Universe Of Time" in her latest album.

She even manages some mid-tempo songs in her repertoire such as "Heaven" and "Beat Of Your Heart" very well. She mesmerised me with a rendition of "Wuthering Heights", coincidentally the last song of the album, which managed to end on a high note.

With Charlotte Church's waning popularity due to drugs and an abusive boyfriend, it is now Hayley Westenra's turn to take to the stage and shine. Her voice will mature as time goes by, and it's just as likely that her sweet innocence will be lost in the process. But take note of her, because she's the one who will stick around for a long time, possibly even after Charlotte's star has entirely faded.


Copyright 2002-2003 "The UrbanWire.com" Ngee Ann Polytechnic Singapore



News Menu 2003

Home Page